Youtube remains a TV set 'On Demand' but with a difference. There is a popular myth that surrounds the Youtube user community - that they are "Sticking it to the Man" by posting and watching stuff without permissions. This zeitgeist gives users the idea that stealing (which they are not) = freedom (which it is not).
Betcha George Orwell didn't see that metric coming!
People use P2P file sharing to share TV content and Youtube to post the content online. Users are not breaking copyright law because no one is charging anything. Youtube simply has to pay the producers a percentage of what they make through ad revenue on the site. These amounts are being settled in court and in the market place as we
Youtube is another revenue stream for producers, one they're going to need as ad revenues are currently imploding. Unless TV gets with the On-Demand thing quickly (which they are), they'll all be bankrupt by summer.
1984 Image courtesy: Slavenka & Obi Blog (no attribution)
YouTube Image courtesy: University of Kentucky - Engineering - Solar Car Team page
(This is a snippet of an article on 'new media' that I am in the process of writing called, "The Interactive Narrative".)